Homeland Security Expands STEM Fields for OPT Extension

In a recent Federal Register announcement, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security added eight new fields of study to the list of those eligible for a two-year STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) extension for Optional Practical Training (OPT). OPT is a program that grants foreign students from U.S. colleges and universities the opportunity to acquire work experience in their field of study post-graduation.

The additional fields now included in the STEM extension are Landscape Architecture, Institutional Research, Mechatronics, Robotics, and Automation Engineering Technology, Composite Materials Technology, Linguistics and Computer Science, Developmental and Adolescent Psychology, Geospatial Intelligence, and Demography and Population Studies.

This expansion allows more international students to gain an additional two years of real-world experience in their specialized fields, extending their total post-graduation work authorization to three years.

The full list of designated STEM fields is available here.